The Circus Animals’ Desertion by William Butler Yeats | Poetry FoundationWhile the original composition date of the poem is unknown, it was probably written between November and September Critics have detected aspects of both Modernism and Postmodern literature in the poem. The poem is an ottava rima consisting of 3 parts, the first and the last with 8 lines each and the second containing 3 stanzas of 8 lines. The poem's opening lines suggest that the poet is searching for a theme, but in the process, he finds the "masterful images" of his earlier works. The reflection upon previous poetic creations appears again as the second part begins and the poet voices his frustration by stating "What can I but enumerate old themes. The final lines of the poem conclude that the poet must "lie down where all the ladders start," which leads Michael O'Neil to suggest that the use of the word "start" indicates a new beginning taking place as the poem ends. The "foul rag and bone shop of the heart," O'Neil contends, is the paper upon which the poem is written, and he argues that Yeats gives "grandeur" to the gutter items of the poem, as the reimagining of "old kettles, old bottles, a broken can" as well as the "rag and bone shop of the heart," become "as masterful a set of images as any Yeats has created.
The rag and bone shop of the heart
William Butler Yeats is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. He belonged to the Protestant, Anglo-Irish minority that had controlled the economic, political, social, and cultural life of Ireland since at least the end of the 17th century Prose Home Harriet Blog. Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library. Newsletter Subscribe Give.
Can't see the preview? Click here! How to print the digital edition of Books for Keeps: click on this PDF file link - click on the printer icon in the top right of the screen to print. The late Robert Cormier author of The Chocolate War, All Fall Down, After the First Death wrote disturbing books about human corruptibility so the lines from Yeats from which the title of this book is taken might constitute an apt epitaph: 'I must lie down where all the ladders start In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart. When a seven-year-old girl is murdered in a Massachusetts town, he is called in to interrogate the person last known to have seen her alive, a diffident year-old boy who enjoys the company of younger children. Cormier sketches in the social, political and emotional forces which shape Trent's approach to the case, but most of this painfully enthralling book is given over to his dialogue with Jason.